CCF Anywhere - HOW to use the program with minimal or no equipment!

CCF Anywhere - HOW to use the program with minimal or no equipment!

11 May 2020

We get it, we're all used to "chasing Rx", but here's a good reason why you shouldn't right now: It's really not that important..

But before we then define what IS important, let's just answer a few important questions to get us there:

  1. CrossFit is what? It's defined as Constantly Varied Functional Movements performed at High Intensity.
  2. CrossFit is meant to? Make you better at living a functional healthy life.
  3. Life is what? A constant variation of physical tasks of which basically NONE contains a well balanced barbell with two shiny weight plates on either side and a smooth wooden platform underneath your feet..

MOST of us don't have this as a daily LIFE task...

But are more likely to need to be able to do THIS.

Ok that was a bit dramatic and maybe over simplifying the points where trying to make here, but bear with us and please follow along!

The Programming is NOT what makes you fitter, the right Stimulus, Function & Effort is.

The reason for this post is actually that we recently sent out a survey where we asked for feedback on what our members are experiencing in their training right now. We loved the generally positive feedback we got but we also saw that a bit too many (approx 25%) felt that they couldn't always stick to the program due to equipment/environment limitations.
That's why we're writing this right now: as much as the training environment for obvious reasons is different now compared to when we were throwing down in our well equipped boxes we think it's more of a mindset thing than anything else and we want to change that mindset right now!

It's easy to think that for instance our "toughest" version of the CCF Anywhere program is the "best" one and anything else is "subpar", but the truth is that the program we offer is based on 3 levels only to show the variety of movements suggested and in essence those 3 levels are only there to give you MOVEMENT OPTIONS to get the right stimulus for each day. 

As an example: The Turkish Get Up (demonstrated above) still promotes Balance, Strength, Flexibility, Agility and more - even if the load is "only" an ab-mat or a rolled up towel - agree?

Wait, what's STIMULUS?

Good question! Stimulus is simply translated: "The intended effect from a programmed workout".

So if we for instance program a workout like FRAN which is 21-15-9 reps of Thrusters & Pull Ups (yikes). The idea is that it should be a full body workout with an ALL OUT effort.
The fastest athletes in the world goes unbroken with short transitions and finishes in around 2 minutes before flopping around on the ground - and so should you!

- Wait now Coach, I can only do like 3-4 thrusters with the Rx weight and haven't mastered my first kipping pull-up yet.. How am I going to finish THAT in 2-3 minutes!?

Easy: if you're in the box you take less load and do either a jumping pull up or a ring row. If you are at home and only have a back pack and no pull up bar do Back Pack Thrusters and Burpees at full speed and tell me it doesn't suck enough..?

Point Being: Substituting or Modifying programmed movements in the CCF Anywhere programs should be no different from modifying a WOD to suit your current capacity in a class at the box.

That was just an example to get us going. The stimulus we are looking for on any given day is however also prescribed in the movements functions (read below) where the actual object you are moving is less important than the fact that you are doing for instance a squat into an over head press in the Thrusters above. Try them with dumbells, (or your dog), as an example and we can promise that the desired effect is there if you move fast enough.

So you're saying that a bag of books can be as efficient as a barbell as long as I train the right FUNCTIONS..?

Yes and no, a barbell will often allow us to move the heaviest loads so if the real goal of a workout would be to max out and test something like a 1 Rep Max (1RM) you're more likely to succeed with a barbell compared to 7 bags of concrete - we'll admit as much. Here's a secret though: a 1RM day is only a TEST and actually doesn't make you stronger...

AND, life in general is very rarely actually asking you of a true 1RM and even though we too miss the good old days of bar slams after a PB-lift, we also know that those days will come back. And we also know that we can both maintain or even improve strength with any kind of object as long as the high intensity and FUNCTION is there!

- Ok, I've been waiting for long enough: what's a function?

Ah, thought you'd never ask! FUNCTION simply means what the programmed movement essentially is in terms of how the body is moving through space - like a Thruster being that squat and over head that we mentioned earlier as an example.

To further understand this concept, and how to not feel like you're getting "cheated" just because you might have to do your movements using an object that is not a well oiled barbell, let's take a look at three workout examples:

Example #1 - 150 Squat Jump to Max Reach Over Head

Yeah that sounds pretty sucky to us. If we really aim to go as high as possible to really use an explosive hip drive, then this will quickly start becoming very tiresome...
Let's compare that to:

Example #2 - FOR TIME: 150 Thrusters with a moderately loaded barbell.

No doubt a sucky WOD too, right? The functions are essentially the same as in Example #1, and if coach tells you that you should have a load that allows you to do +30 unbroken reps and the stimulus is intended to see you finish between 8-12 minutes it starts sucking a bit more right?
No? Well what if we look at:

Example #3 - For Time: 150 Wall Balls a.k.a. "KAREN"

Our point here is that in essence these are all the same WOD! They both contain 150 reps of squatting with an explosive hip drive and then pushing overhead, but if we would program "Karen" in the gym and all the medicine balls had been stolen the night before we'd all think that we'd be "cheated on what we NEED to do" if the coaches would tell us that we have to do 150 barbell thrusters instead? That's the mindset we're trying to get away from with this very article...

Here's another example of how we implement this philosophy in Coach Seymour's WOD-design for tomorrow Tuesday the 12th of May!

POINT BEING: What it says on the whiteboard is NOT the best workout, using some version of the prescribed function with an object (or even bodyweight version) and giving it YOUR max effort is.

Ok, kind of makes sense but what's up with this constant talk about MY Effort?

Well I hate to break it to you but your mom and dad was right: you only get what you work for..
A beautifully designed workout done at a leisurely pace is never as efficient as a "boring" one performed at a higher effort.

Because, if THIS is what made you fit in the gym...:

Then ending up flat on the cold floor when doing the WOD at home is also what's gonna make you the fittest right now!


(Right Glen..?)

POINT BEING: the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT part of your training is how hard you push yourself with whatever movements you use, whatever load you have or don't have. Your fitness will always be directly correlated to your effort, not the equipment you have access to or not..

If you have access to a world class state of the art gym and put in a lazy effort in your workouts you will still not become fitter than the people who works their butt off in less ideal environments.


Yes, he has a barbell and a "platform" but we thought the picture hammered home the message quite well.
Oh, that's 130kg btw...

You see, fitness is a state of mind.

This article is partially written with some humour, but in the end the message is important: we are all finding ourselves in a training environment that is perhaps "less inspiring" than what we are used to - but THAT doesn't matter.
What you do with your current situation, how you choose to push yourself, and how you choose to adapt to your challenges is all that matters for your Health & Fitness.

For sure, I too miss the barbell. I have a couple at home but have chosen to use Odd Objects only for our CCF Anywhere WOD's as I too want to experience what YOU are doing with the program. I too would love nothing else than a huge group of people throwing down around me right now - but I also know that wishing for things to be different doesn't make me fitter. Pushing myself every day with what I got available to me however does.

And lastly I'm a firm believer that by now being pushed to use different objects than we usually do we'll actually become MORE functional human beings with MORE capacity to really live life like an adventure when we are finally allowed to use our fitness outdoors again - and if you ask me THAT is exactly what most of us should train for..

Moments like this is my "training why", what do you train for?

~No Excuses - Only Results~
Coach Chris